Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Every Single Day August 2, 2014

Every year my reaction is the same. “It’s Fish Day!” mom will say. Meanwhile, my mouth starts watering and I begin to pace the hallways of my forever home because I know what this means. And as mom and dad put on their flip flops, I know the journey is about to begin.

As long as I’ve been around my forever family, it means off to Port Washington, Wisconsin we go. It is the home to lots of things, including the birthplace and childhood home of my dear forever father. But on this one special day every year it is the home to so much more. It is home to the world’s largest one-day outdoor fish fry. (Google it if you don’t believe me). And, since it is home to much of the Schmidt family, that means it’s a reason to celebrate.

Because I’m sure everyone has one. A month of birthdays. For us it’s July. In addition to my dear forever mom and several of her pals, her sister and mom have birthdays in July, as well as dear favorite little people of mine Abigail and Sam, and my forever father’s dad Gerry.

So you could say that Fish Day has taken on a life of its own for our forever family. It’s a day when we get together and celebrate by way of eating fried fish, but there is also cake. (Which means there is a little frosting to spare for everyone’s favorite four-legged friend otherwise known as me).

And this year, I was surprised to find even more meaning behind this special day. Yes, everyone was glad everyone was born. And yes, everyone loves a good piece of fried fish and birthday cake for dessert. But this year was different for my forever family. Because this year involved dear baby Carter. And he was a bit of a handful, what with all of his almost 7-month-old teething at the time. Master of the computer

But none of that mattered to his grandma Schmidt, especially since she hadn’t seen him in a few weeks. He fussed and cried and did everything he doesn’t normally do. But what I saw through her eyes that day was pure and completely uncomplicated love and appreciation for all things this little person would bring into the world.

Joy. From the ground up, I saw that in her wisdom that day. Her and my dear forever mom talked at length in the living room with no one but a sleepy Carter and myself there to hear them about life as a mom and all that entails. I’ve heard it before from other family members (like my mom’s mom and sister) too, but something seemed to come full circle that day hearing it from my grandma Schmidt. Like in some odd way everyone who loves dear baby Carter was on the same page.

This isn’t to say I didn’t know this before. But I know every year something special is going to happen at Fish Day and this year was no different. This year I was reminded there is so much more to life than fried fish (though that was and always will be very yummy). There is life. And the love that life breeds. These are the things worth celebrating not just one day a year but every single day.

 

 

 

Only in Wisconsin July 20, 2013

Cheese. Beer. The Green Bay Packers. We are known for a lot of silly things in the fabulous American state of Wisconsin. But today was something new for me. Today I attended the world’s largest one-day outdoor fish fry. Fish Day, it’s called, which sounds pretty simple all on its own.

But everything about this festival was far from simple. After an excessive heat wave, the weather lent itself to the perfect temperature that set the stage for a fabulous day. There was no wind, but still the most amazing smells wafted through the air. My nose enjoyed the cocktail of all sorts of fried goodness, kettle corn, sunscreen and people. Lots and lots of people.

The best part of it all was the people at Grandma’s house. I saw all the usual characters like my favorite little people and their parents and grandparents, but also met for the first time the majority of the extended Schmidt family. They drove up from Illinois to enjoy the day, and I was tickled pink to meet more members of my forever family.

Among them were some new (to me) little people, who embraced me without question. Literally. I got all kinds of hugs, kisses, playtime and treats from Reanna, Ryan, Emma and Grace. They range in people years from 2- to 8-years-old and I love them. We dogs fall in love pretty easily.

When I wasn’t busy making new forever friends, I enjoyed time playing pretend with my old ones. I love seeing their imaginations come together and create different scenarios. More than that, I love seeing them play together like little people regardless of their range of ages. They even made me Mr. President in our game. I wasn’t sure what to do with all of that power but smile and enjoy the show unfolding in front of me.

As compensation for my service as Mr. President I was awarded a couple of cheese curds. (Shh! Don’t tell mom!) Only in Wisconsin would a dog be treated with cheese curds. After all, it is for good reason we are known for our cheese, beer and Green Bay Packers. But while these may be favorites of visitors to our fine state, they are not my favorite thing about my forever home in the state of Wisconsin.

Before today I’d never heard of such a thing as the world’s largest one-day outdoor fish fry. But it didn’t take long for my keen doggie senses to pick up something even more special about today than the smell of fried fish wafting through the beautiful summer air. Laughter. Family. Unconditional love. We had plenty of all of these things in the state of Wisconsin today. That beats fried fish any day.

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